Planned Parenthood strengthens its news department


New York
CNN

Kate Smith was a reporter for CBS News for several years, and her main pulse was reproductive rights.

She now works for an organization that has been one of her main sources. Last year, Smith left CBS to work as a senior news director for Planned Parenthood.

On Sunday, “Reliable Resources,” Smith said there were several reasons why she decided on a career move. But the most important reason, she said, is that her editor was no longer interested in covering abortion and reproductive health policy as a dedicated pulse – a topic she spent much of her career on as an expert.

“I was thinking about the next steps in my career to rule that out,” Smith said. “I was more willing to consider other options.”

Part of Smith’s work on planned parenting is deciding how to frame coverage of reproductive health issues. For example, topics such as abortions are often addressed through a political lens – sometimes overlooking the practical implications for individuals.

Smith noted that stories about Texas abortion law, for example, will almost always include a quote from Senator Ted Cruz and relate to the size and scope of similar restrictions adopted in other states. But many readers just want to know if they can still make an appointment in their local planned parenting.

“In this article, I promise you [the reader’s] he will not be able to determine whether her meeting is planned or not, ”Smith said.

As a reporter for CBS, Smith said she was overwhelmed by phone calls and messages from people concerned about the status of their meetings after the article was published.

“Because of the way we cover abortion in the media with this national framework, often as a political story, we are omitting patients from the equation,” Smith said.

Smith wants readers to come to Planned Parenthood to hear the experts and understand in real time what their rights are.

“[Think about] cancer treatment, ”Smith said. “I’d rather watch Sloan Kettering content than a New York Times article.”

Smith’s move to planned parenting did not go without controversy. Two years ago, the conservative National Review called Smith Ambassador of Planned Parenthood on CBS.

“They said you were introducing yourself as a reporter, and produced articles that were more reminiscent of press releases than news,” CNN chief correspondent Brian Stelter said. “It was a burden when you were on CBS, and now you’re in planned parenting.”

Smith highlighted the journalistic standards and legal reviews that have been the subject of her stories on CBS, and said her reporting today still goes through a rigorous review.

“I stand behind every article I write,” Smith said. “I would say you are playing to the right with these accusations. Whoever does not follow their rules, who is not against abortion, is against them. ”

Covering abortion from a neutral perspective and incorporating perspectives on both sides of the debate automatically makes proponents of abortion defensive, Smith said.

“They look at doctors as abortions and they look at them as biased, even though they’re the doctors we’re talking about,” Smith said. “So I really reject all that criticism.”

In 2019, Smith traveled to El Salvador, where abortion has been banned since 1998. In 2020, it is reports CBS that more than 140 women accused of abortion were imprisoned, although many of them may have experienced abortion.

“When we went to El Salvador, we saw all those things that these doctors and politicians reminded us were happening in real time on the ground,” Smith said.

Smith met with one doctor who said patients died because they were not allowed to have an abortion, and another who provided them illegally, who said demand had not fallen.

But what kept Smith upright at night was a conversation with a imprisoned woman who hadn’t seen her family in years. The woman said she had an abortion.

“They wake up and are chained to a hospital bed, and there was a police officer there investigating them,” Smith said. “Doctors have told me that when they look at a patient, they can’t tell the difference between an induced abortion and a miscarriage.”

Smith said the consequences of what the post-Roe world will look like are not just hypothetical.

“All of these things that we say can happen if abortion is banned, if abortion becomes illegal, it happens,” Smith said. “We have factual facts that can tell what happens.”

Elvira Parkinson

"Alcohol scholar. Hardcore tv junkie. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Twitter fanatic. Subtly charming travel guru. Pop culture specialist."

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